Drug Bust At Boeing Plant

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A Thursday morning raid at Boeing's helicopter plant outside of Philadelphia resulted in the arrest of 37 current and former Boeing employees who authorities allege were associated with the purchase and sale of prescription drugs. The plant at Ridley Park produces the CH-47 Chinook and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. It employs roughly 6,000 workers. The majority of those arrested reportedly worked in production at the facility. According to Boeing, the arrests were facilitated by its own internal investigation that began in 2006 after other employees reported suspicious activity to the company's internal ethics hotline. The company alerted federal law enforcement and a four-year DEA investigation followed. During that time production at the plant continued, with care, according to Boeing.

Of the 37 arrested, 23 were indicted on charges of illegally distributing prescription drugs including Xanax (an anti-anxiety pill), as well as painkillers Oxycontin and Actiq. Boeing says it cooperated with investigators throughout the four-year DEA investigation, which included undercover agents. The U.S. Attorney working the case said that all individuals charged had either bought or sold a controlled substance (or what the workers believed to be a controlled substance) from, or to, an individual working in cooperation with the FBI. According to the U.S. attorney, no accidents have yet been attributed to work performed by the people charged. Boeing told The Wall Street Journal that it took action to ensure that both its employees and its products were kept safe during the investigation to ensure "the absolute integrity and quality of products we produce for our customers."